Grow Opportunity

Virtual Summits
Focus On: Labs & Cannabis Testing
March 1, 2023 at 1:00pm EDT

Panel Discussion: Analytical testing: Standardization, potency inflation, and international expansion

Moderator: Beatrix Csemer, Director of QA and Compliance, QAP, Safari Flower Co.

  • Gillian Vandermeirsch, director of R&D/Lab, Pure Sunfarms.
  • Brandon Tate, C45 board member & consultant.
  • Wendi Young, president and CEO of Triverity Laboratories.
Panelists Gillian Vandermeirsch will cover standardized analytical testing, Brandon Tate will provide a regulatory overview, and Wendi Young will provide a product analysis in addition to her international perspective.

Beatrix Csemer
Beatrix has been managing the quality compliance area within the cannabis sector for the last five years. Prior to Safari Flower co., she fulfilled a management position in the quality area, primarily focusing on audits, continuous improvements, and team-building strategies at UP/Hexo Cannabis and Aleafia Health Inc. Beatrix also fulfilled a liaison/product developer role between research & development and quality assurance at Aleafia Health.

Prior to her start in the cannabis industry, Beatrix was a food scientist at Treehouse Foods – a private label food and beverage leader focused on customer brand and custom products. She engaged with retail grocery and industrial export customers, including most leading grocery retailers and foodservice operators in the United States and Canada. In this role, she was responsible for ideation to recipe development and nutritional facts panel creation. She facilitated successful cost savings initiatives with a Treehouse corporate working group. Prior to that, she held the quality assurance coordinator/SQF practitioner position at OLiV International Ltd., managed and led the federal and provincial government audits, and implemented the safe quality food system.

Beatrix graduated from Niagara culinary innovation and food technology program with an advanced diploma. She spent a few years with research & innovation at the Canadian Food & Wine Institute Innovation Centre, working with small and medium-sized businesses in the food sector.
Beatrix is an active member of the culinary innovation and food technology program advisory committee at Niagara College. She is part of the curriculum developer team for the cannabis edible course at Niagara College and playing a program developer role in Global Connections.

Gillian Vandermeirsch
As Director of R&D and Lab at Pure Sunfarms, Gillian leads a diverse team of scientists and specialists responsible for prototype and process development, sampling, analytical and organoleptic/sensory testing. Gillian thrives in the fast-paced and rapidly evolving cannabis industry and is excited to be part of building it from the ground up in Canada and beyond.

With 20 years of experience in biotech start-ups and the health sciences, combined with product development experience specifically in recreational and medical cannabis since 2018, Gillian’s diverse background allows her to successfully navigate the ever-changing landscape. Deep knowledge of GPP, GMP, and the regulatory environment enable Gillian to support the product innovation and brand & commercial teams with confidence and efficiency.

Gillian is a facilitator at heart, focused on bringing cross-functional teams together to find innovative solutions that push the boundaries and maximize results for the business. Gillian holds a BSc in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of British Columbia, and a Doctorate from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie Paris VI.

Brandon Tate
With well over a decade of experience in the start-up biotech space, Brandon switched focus five years ago towards the Canadian cannabis industry. His specialties include leading strategic regulatory affairs initiatives, quality management implementation/administration, project management, customer care, supplier management, and process improvements. He has a strong history of RA/QA/QC/audit team development and strategic leadership, ISO/FDA/GPP/GMP/HACCP/IMC-GAP compliance, and international quality management.

Brandon played a role in Canada’s largest biotech IPO, raising $130M and yielding a market cap of $550M, where his QA/QC process improvements assisted in enabling a global production capacity expansion from 20M lbs per annum to 250M lbs per annum over 18 months.

Most notably, he was the key individual in the acquisition and compliant maintenance of Thrive Cannabis’ recreational/medical sales, outdoor grow, and research and development Licenses as well as multiple successful cannabis exports to various countries. He initiated, lead, and achieved the world’s first issued cannabis Farmgate retail license. He and his team played a key role in the establishment, development, and commercialization of Thrive Cannabis’ premium, award winning, internationally recognized brands and associated product lines, Greybeard Cannabis and Being Cannabis.

Wendi Young
Wendi Young, president and CEO of Triverity Laboratories, is an analytical chemist with 17 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. While in pharma she led a team of development chemists and guided the development of hundreds of analytical methods. She moved the cannabis industry in 2019 to take up a role as VP of regulatory and compliance at a hemp extractor in Colorado before leaving her position to start Triverity Laboratories. Since its inception in 2021, Triverity Laboratories has started ISO 17025 accredited labs in the U.S. and U.K. to serve customers across the globe.